Sous Vide 101 (and 202, 303)


So, I got a Sous Vide thingy at Amazon during their sales, and I’m deeply intrigued by what I’ve seen about steeping with it.

Hopefully this thread can evolve as a discussion on methodology, tips, tricks, and all the sciencey fun behind it.

I know, lurking in the shadows, are some pretty smart folks who know plenty about this. So post up!!

And can this also be for Sous Vide cooking of food as well?


Got a link to that??


To what? /blahallthechar


To the Sous Vide?


Yeah, kinda looks like that really.


@mrpipes has the science but I believe 60C is where VG is best mixed


Yes. I have thoroughly tested this and know that a structural change happens at 60C/ 140F where PG and flavorings will easily penetrate and mix with VG. VG is a poor solvent. I suppose that the following link was taken as how to use a homogenizer, but I believe it applicable to any method used for making ejuice i.e shaking, stirring, ultrasonic, high shear mixing, etc.


I should add that using heated VG with freebase nicotine is a recipe for a nasty juice. Heat will oxidize nicotine and make it harsh and it will in turn oxidize your flavorings. Leave it out.

When I started mixing people were touting the crockpot methods and also a heated ultrasonic cleaner. Results were all over the place and I am convinced that the cause for bad results was the added nicotine. I am also confident that these people were on the right track heat wise.

I found these statements really interesting from The Flavorah Recipe book; (page 15)

“much of what has become known as the “steeping” process by ejuice makers is actually accelerated oxidation of the flavorings caused by the addition of freebase nicotine.”…If nicotine is not added, this undesirable oxidation does not occur and the initial flavoring profile of the recipe will be maintained more consistently over time."…The recipes in this book all include a recommended aging
time from the creator. This is not a hard rule, and there is no wrong answer when it comes to aging eliquids. However, it’s highly recommended that stirring, shaking, and/or homogenizing immediately takes place after mixing."

Nothing is said about heating though in the other thread I pointed to many examples by experienced or pro mixers that have been recommending 60C for several years.

As far as Sous Vide I can’t imagine a better way to bring bottles of juice up to temp with the circulating water. I will likely buy one. I use a small crock pot that stays a steady 60C but can see that this would work much better.


So basically… stir/homogenize and heat for x amount of time eliminates the need for the long winter’s nap of shelf time, making the juice 100% ready as soon as it cools and nic (if desired) is added? That is extraordinary. And super duper cool.


Beside the juce making, try this in your sous vide (and thank me later)

One quart of cream (I use 15% fat variety), teaspoon of baking soda. Seal in a sous-vide bag (no need for vacuum). Set to 180F, and forget it for 24 hours (make sure to add water if needed)


The unit I got from Amazon arrived last week, and though I did get it for juice heating, I fully intend to use it for food applications as well. So while this thread may go back and forth between vaping and eating, I’m very interested in both. Admittedly more so for eliminating the dreaded shelf time steeping, but I’ve seen some pretty excellent looking food uses as well. (And for cripe’s sake it was $43 so I pretty much had to buy it).

So what have you asked me to make with that simple recipe?


That simple recipe will provide you with a quart of the most divine malted cream for coffee and white russians


To varying degrees, yes. Stirring,shaking at 60C will go a long way in accelerating the process. But using a high shear mixer eliminates the time down to near nothing. I don’t know a "sous vide’ method but after all it is just a precise and efficient way to reach and maintain your mix temperature with circulating water. I think the steps should be (1) make your PG/flavoring/VG mix in a closed container. Leave the Nic out. (2) heat the juice mix to 60C for at least 15 minutes. (3) Apply some type of mechanical force. Try to minimize aerating the mix.

If I remember correctly you have an ultrasonic cleaner. Rather than shaking I think I would use the sous to heat the water in the usc if that is possible. I suspect that it is. I would place the bottles in the usc and periodically at intervals apply ultrasonic waves to the mix. Both the ultrasonic and high shear devices produce cavitation. I think the combination of cavitation and heat may do the job. But I don’t know this. I’ve read a lot about ultrasonic processing , aging wine for example, but also know that these devices are exponentially much more powerful than what would be used in an ordinary usc. They are also expensive.

I get some air using the lab size homogenizers. I use a usc to eliminate these bubbles and to off gas my mixes. @SmilingOgre uses a combination of high shear mixer, sous vide, and usc. He uses a lower temp than I do though I may have convinced him to go up to 60C. :grin: @Sprkslfly uses a USC. Hopefully they will chime in.

whatever the method of mechanical force, the test is the amount of time to produce a finished vape ready ejuice.


I do, but it’s far from a pro unit. It doesn’t have heat and I don’t know if I can actually heat the water without damaging it?

It fits three 100ml bottles with little room to spare.


I don’t think 140F/60C would harm it at all. 140 is not very hot at all. Mine has heat and while I’ve never measured it I pretty sure that it exceeds 140. If its a stainless tank I wouldn’t worry about it. But you could try heating and periodically shaking. Your usc will dissolve the bubbles in minutes. Always cool down before opening the container.

When adding Nic all I do is add the nic, stir with a glass stir rod, and place the bottle in the usc for five minutes. I’ve never had a hot spot so the cavitation does mix thoroughly.


I’ve been shopping for one and that’s a hell of a deal.


Want to recommend some suitable glass bottles? All I have now are plastic and I won’t be trying any real heating until I have proper glass. These will be used for the mix/mech process only as the finished juice will be transferred to the usual plastic bottles when completed.


I use regular Boston Round bottles available just about anywhere. I buy most from Amazon since I get prime shipping. But some of them won’t hold 30ml and have an air gap. @Sprkslfly can help there. I also use Erlenmeyer flasks and the best place I found was Nic Rvr because they were flat bottom which works for mag stirring. They were also cheap. I hate beakers because they have a pour lip and are hard to seal. Large quantities for me get mixed in flasks with a rubber stopper. Everything else gets mixed in bottles. Ball mason canning jars also work very well.


OK, then @Sprkslfly let’s hear it…

What I want to do (which may be different from what is best, so please tell me), is to mix my usual 100ml quantities. I’ve never wanted to mix large quantities but will if that is best. So really I’d like 100ml glass ones I can use for a 1 to 1 transfer to the actual service bottles. I hate dropper filling and will not be using the glass bottles for that purpose; mixing only.

So I guess I’ll also need smaller, maybe 10-30ml (10ml preferred if they make them) for test recipes. Those I would probably use for both the mixing and the service both since they are testers and if successful would be made in the standard 100ml size, so I could abide using the dropper fill for that.


I mix 10 ml testers in 15 ml bottles. I use 30, 60. and my standard 120. All can be bought without the droppers (plain caps) which I agree are pain in the ass. I never add nic until I’m ready to vape a juice which typically is 30 ml at at time. I pour out of the bottles so I guess this old man has a steady hand.:joy: